Staff Reporter
YESTERDAY'S meeting of Calvia Town Council gave initial approval to the local government budget for this year, which, including payments to companies who carry out work for the Council, now stands at 90 million euros. According to Council sources, the approved figure represents a drop of 10.5 percent in relation to funds made available in 2003. Votes in favour came from the ruling government team (the Popular Party and Majorcan Union) and against from the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE). The ruling parties refer to the budget as being based on a “more realistic” income, and claim that it has taken into account the “contention" surrounding some expenses, such as those for advertising or “meetings”. The core of the budget is put at 79'550'000 euros, some 13.18 percent less than last year, although if work done by some companies and organisations on behalf of the municipality is added to it, the figure rises to 90'069'588 euros.

Calvia Council explained the budget decrease is due to “calculations which have been based on a more realistic income figure” than in previous years, “meaning a reduction in expenses”. “The government team has made an important effort to rationalise and control costs, giving priority to providing local people with the services they need and cutting out any expenses that might be considered as luxury items”, explained a council spokesman. With this policy in mind, the Council points to the lowering of costs which will go to cover technical assistance, advertising, “assemblies, or meetings” and other “luxury expenses”. Similarly, a freeze has been put on rates that the Council will charge for municipal services, with the exception of rubbish collection facilities. Tariffs for these have been increased by the island's ruling body, the Council of Majorca; “adjustments have been made in order to realistically reflect income from indirect taxes” and reduce by 5 percent the tax on real estate. In contrast, money that has to be spent on Town Council administration has increased 7.5 percent to accommodate salary increases for Council employees and the contracting of extra personnel. Investment in the municipality has also risen from 0.6 to 3.8 million euros. The Council gave prominence to the increase of 12.4 percent in funds allocated to security (an area where 25 new members of staff have been taken on); of 26.6 percent in the money set aside for backing economic activity; and of 50 percent in support for first time home buyers.


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